Bristol doorstep portraits

Coronavirus has affected us all in many different ways. One of the biggest impacts on my life was the sudden lockdown restrictions preventing me from photographing my usual weddings and family portrait sessions. At first, this was a massive shock to me, like it was to many of us. However, I wanted to keep my spirits high and was thinking of ways that I could still do some photography.

The wonderful street I call home has really pulled together, looking after each other and making sure that we’re all ok. We have a facebook page for the street where we can all chat. Amongst other things this has given us all a massive sense of community which has been well needed in these unusual times.

With so much time on my hands and a desire to go out and take photos my partner Carly and I organised loads of photoshoots so that I could create a project packed full of Bristol doorstep portraits. With limited travel and the fact I live on a terraced street my neighbours made for some great and fun subjects.

Lots of families, couples and a shared house were all willing participants. As well keeping my photography brain working I’ve got to know lots more of my neighbours, which may never have happened otherwise. This has been one of the silver linings of lockdown.

I wanted to inject some personality into the photos and encouraged everyone to incorporate things that they have been doing during lockdown, in order to capture this time in a creative and honest way.

Obviously, all shoots were conducted in a manner that adhered to social distancing.

Ella and her kids were first up, enjoying their weekly treats on “Sweetie Friday”. Just a few days earlier they’d mocked up a Macdonalds drive-thru via the same window. Genius!

 

Ellie and Jan wanted to lean into the craziness of working from home while trying to home school kids, while ALSO renovating the kitchen!

Jan having been a former set designer, they created a hyper-real lockdown shoot, finding themselves covered in paint hand prints, toys and pens spilling out of pockets and the real rubble, bricks and wood from their DIY efforts piled up in the garden…all while being pelted with water pistols!

 

Even on a normal day Shell & Ellen are always the most brightly dressed couple on the street, so we knew to expect a rainbow of colour. They still surpassed themselves!

 

Our next door neighbours admitted they were a little camera shy at first, but despite this they really wanted to join in and warmed up quickly. 

They’ve been keeping their kids well entertained with small gardening projects with their kids and online guitar lessons via Zoom.

 

When I asked the kids on this next shoot for embarrassing stories about their Dad to prompt a good laugh I don’t think he expected them to be *quite* so forthcoming 🤪🤣🤫

Secret’s safe with me!

As you can see here, lots of the houses on our street have multiple posters up in the windows. At the beginning of lockdown there were rolling themes on our Facebook group to keep the kids (and any keen adults) busy. Some of the creations have been lovely, including this motivational “stay inside” dog with party hat.

 

Do you think these guys like a party? 😜🥳

Like many other houses they have a sprinkling of key workers in there, split between the Bristol Airport Covid-19 testing centre and doing home deliveries for Tesco.

Despite appearances they (sadly) weren’t heading to a festival but used the shoot as an excuse to get fully dressed up. We got a few funny looks from cars driving by, and even a horn honk at the end 😝😎

 

Rosie & Pete’s family decided on a natural everyday look to their shoot, which included some silly faces and grumpy tiredness right at the end.

 

You might think you’re getting deja-vu here but that is actually Pete, the dad from the shoot above. Since these neighbours hang out together chatting at a social distance from their gardens, I cornered him for some photos when he’d just popped out for some fresh air while working from home.

He was slightly gutted that he’d been busted with an ungroomed lockdown beard, but such is life and I thought he looked absolutely fine!

Louisa enjoyed a solo with her little boy, as Dad was sadly not keen to feature. Nevertheless, the two of them had a lot of fun with it.

 

These guys were thinking their son might have been too shy for photos but right from the start he became the star of the show.

I’m sure lots of us have been climbing the walls during lockdown, but perhaps not as literally as this little boy!

 

Living alone, Fiona felt a little self conscious about her photoshoot, but I think we remedied that?!

After doing lots of DIY and household tasks, she decided that her jetwash and drill were fitting props  😂🤟

 

Due to lockdown Bina & her family had to celebrate Bengali New Year on 14th April with loved ones via Zoom rather than in person.

So when we were discussing portraits we thought traditional new year clothing would be ideal to commemorate their very different 2020 celebration.

 

Heie and Frances are a fun-loving couple just across the road from us. Every week before the Thursday clap for carers at 8pm, Heie kindly puts on 30 minutes of music so that we can enjoy a little dance out the front of our houses. This has been a real highlight for the street each week.

 

Claire and Jim’s family bought a huge tin of baked beans at the beginning of lockdown, which hasn’t yet been eaten. This was a good excuse to get it out of the cupboard, almost like an extra member of the family!

 

Sophie enjoyed a break from working from from home for her family to have their photoshoot. Look at the effort they’ve gone to with their hand drawn rainbow in the window.

Getting the kids in a headlock was probably appropriate by this point in lockdown! 😜

 

If you’re looking for Bristol doorstep portraits please get in touch either by emailing info@simonwithyman.com or by calling me on 07900932139.

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Simon Withyman Photography | Capturing fun & relaxed photos of your cheeky little humans!

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